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Many Kidney Donors, Recipients Favor Information Exchange

However, health professionals more likely to oppose sharing health information

TUESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Potential kidney transplant recipients and donors generally favor the exchange of personal health information, suggesting that future policies should weigh which information is relevant, how to use it in context, and how to get consent from all the parties involved, according to research published online March 18 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Patricia Hizo-Abes, of the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from 43 potential kidney donors, 73 potential recipients, and 41 health professionals. Participants were surveyed about their attitudes toward sharing relevant personal information for traditional living kidney donations and incompatible kidney exchanges.

The researchers found that, for traditional live-donor transplantation, most donors and recipients agreed with sharing the recipient's health information with the donor (86 and 80 percent, respectively), and the donor's information with the recipient (97 and 89 percent, respectively). Similarly, most also agreed that health information should be shared in incompatible exchanges. Health professionals were more likely to disagree that this information should be shared, in either type of transplant.

"These findings, along with additional scientific, ethical, and legal considerations, should guide future efforts in creating a framework for sharing health information in living kidney donation. This should include a consensus on the breadth of relevant information, practical methods for communicating the information, and a practical method to ensure that patients consent before the transfer of any information," the authors write.

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